Nia Long Ime Udoka Break Up: Ime Udoka and Nia Long are distancing themselves. Exclusive to PEOPLE, a source reveals that Long, 51, and Udoka, 45, have called time on their 13-year marriage after the former Boston Celtics head coach allegedly had an affair with a female employee of the team.
Despite the sad and painful circumstances, Nia is putting her children first and reconstructing her life, the insider claims. The couple is “no longer together but remains dedicated to co-parenting their kid [Kez],” according to a representative for Long.
After the Boston Celtics held a press conference in September to discuss Udoka’s ban, the pair decided to call it quits. According to Long, who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter last week, “I think the most devastating thing about all of this was seeing my son’s face when the Boston Celtics organization decided to make a very private problem public.”
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Just a few weeks before the 2022–23 NBA season began, the Boston Celtics released a statement in September regarding Udoka’s immediate suspension from the team. They stated that Udoka had broken “team policies” at the time and that his future with the squad will be reviewed.
ESPN reported that Udoka had a “role in an intimate relationship with a female member of the franchise’s staff” just before the Celtics statement went online. Later, PEOPLE verified the claims.
Udoka later provided a comment regarding the alleged relationship with ESPN’s Malika Andrews. I’m sorry for disappointing our team, fans, the whole Celtics organization, and my family, the player added. I respect the team’s decision and apologize for placing them in this precarious position.
He closed his statement by saying, “I will have no further remark out of respect for everyone concerned.” Following the announcement, Long made a statement of her own, available only to PEOPLE. Long told PEOPLE, “I am so grateful for the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and the community during this trying time. “
As I contemplate the recent events, I kindly ask that my privacy be respected. I am a mother first and foremost, so I will always put my kids first.” Long and Udoka share a son named Kez, who is 11 years old and has been engaged since 2015.
— JUN (@akr991002) December 7, 2022
When Udoka was a professional basketball player for the Sacramento Kings in February 2010, the actress and the former head coach got to know one another. According to the Boston Globe, a mutual friend set them together while Long was in Boston filming a pilot for NBC and Udoka was competing against the Boston Celtics.
Long and Udoka made their first child’s impending arrival an exclusive PEOPLE story in June 2011. Long previously had a son named Massai from a previous relationship, but Udoka was the first to have a child. Later, on November 7, 2011, their son Kez was born.
Because she had “never seen a marriage work” and believed that marriage didn’t define a good relationship for her and Udoka, Long was insistent during their relationship that “marriage is not a goal for me.” She made this statement in Essence’s August 2012 edition.
She affirmed at the time, “I don’t feel less loved or loving because I’m not married. “I put a lot of effort into getting the career I wanted, but I was equally thoughtful about my personal life. Nothing about this is incorrect.”
Udoka and Long got engaged in May 2015 despite this. The following June, Long told a TMZ Sports reporter that the couple was “taking our time” with wedding arrangements, indicating that they had no intention of rushing down the aisle.
They didn’t require the titles of husband and wife to know that they are “in a partnership,” she said in December 2020 on Essence’s Yes Girl podcast. Long tacked on “Love is challenging… and after that, you begin your marriage. I have never been married. There’s a reason for that since I’m not certain that saying “I do” will convince you that I love you.
But what exactly does marriage [mean]—that you now own me and I own you? That part eludes me.” After working as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers, and Brooklyn Nets, Udoka was hired as the head coach of the Boston Celtics in June 2021.
The Best Man: The Final Chapters, Searching with Storm Reid, and You People with Eddie Murphy, Jonah Hill, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus were among the recent projects Long had been working on in Hollywood. Long had also been quite busy with her career.
For a spell, Long and her son stayed in Los Angeles while Udoka resided in Boston due to their respective occupations. To be with Udoka, Nia had lately relocated her family to Boston. She and her kid afterward relocated back to Los Angeles.